Tales of Grace is a conventional RPG and has a familiar battle system, though with a little bit of its own formula involved in it. When you’re out on the field, you will see various enemy avatars moving around.
When you come into contact with one of them, you are plunged into another 3D region in which you must either win from the enemies or run away to get back.
There are three methods of movement in what is called a ‘battle arena’. The first one, familiar to all, is the obvious movement with the left analog stick. The second is the movement from L2, but that will reduce your Chain Capacity points (we’ll get to that in a bit).
The third is done by holding the square button and moving around with the left analog stick. This is termed as ‘quick-step’ and allows quick moving towards or away from enemies.
Tales of Graces uses a battle system called Style-Shift Linear Motion Battle System (talk about a mouth-full!). It shares a lot of similar with previous Tales of games, but has been slightly altered.
One of the newest additions is what we call Chain Capacity. For those who are acquainted to the Tales of series, this is a replacement of the TP system that allowed one to execute special attacks that did more damage than normal ones.
Chain Capacity or CC is a set value for every individual character based on their stats and possibly equipment. CC has two limits – the maximum amount, which is the highest amount of CC points you can have in a battle, and the minimum amount, which is obviously the lowest value in a battle.
Every attack tends to cost a specific amount of CC. CC can be increased by doing a combo with the current amount of CC you have; once the gauge underneath your HP bar is filled, your CC will increase by one point. This repeats until the maximum CC value is achieved.
However, taking hits will deplete the bar and eventually reduce your maximum CC by 1.
There are certain styles or what is termed as ‘artes’ in this game – a specific type of fighting style. These are of two types: Attack and Burst, hence designated by A and B respectively.
Now, the A artes are arranged like a type of skill tree, and are pre-determined. They cost 1 CC, 2 CC, 3 CC and 4 CC respectively. Each attack is mapped out a specific kind of movement of the control stick, hence allowing you to choose the arte through the movement of the stick.
You must go through these A artes in their order until you go out of CC, and when you do you must allow them to recharge.
B artes on the other hand work differently, as they are not pre-determined and are hence unrestrained. This means they can be used freely without requiring going through the order of the skill tree. As long as you have sufficient CC, you can use B artes interchangeably with the A artes, and can even throw them in between an A arte combo.
Whenever you chain a spell in the middle of an A arte combo, the casting speed is reduced based on how far down the line you’ve gone.
For example, doing something like:
CC1 > Spell > CC2>CC3>>CC4 will have a slightly faster casting speed. Similarly CC1 > CC2 > CC3 > CC4 > Spell will have the least amount of casting time (hence the fastest casting speed). This is essential to keep in mind if you want to dish out quick damage in situations when you are overwhelmed.
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